Here’s a story from our valued production partner, SFU Woodward’s and its presentation of “A Beautiful View” – currently running until September 29th.

Award winning actors Colleen Wheeler and Diane Brown, who have both recently come away from Bard  productions (Diane as Apprentice Director and Colleen as Lady Macbeth in Macbeth), co-star in SFU Woodward’s presentation of A Beautiful View.  Written by Governor General Award Winning Playwright Daniel MacIvor this Ruby Slippers Theatre Production will be on stage at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for just four performances (September 26-29th.)

Here’s Colleen and Diane to answer some questions about the production.

1. How did you find working with Daniel MacIvor? Was it difficult/nerve-wracking to be directed by the playwright?

Colleen: Certainly Daniel has had a huge influence on me.  “You Are Here”, (produced in 2004 by H&H Theatre) was definitely a career highlight and was one of the most satisfying theatrical experiences I have has as a performer.  I have huge respect for him as a writer and as an actor.  So, when Diane asked me to be in “A Beautiful View” and told me he would be directing it – it was a dream come true.  I found working on the show with the writer in the room a great privilege.  So many times when rehearsing a piece you ask yourself “I wonder what the writer meant by this moment/line”.  In this case we can just ask him!

Diane: I was nervous at first, but soon got submerged in the depth and quality of the material and rehearsals. I approached Daniel originally when he was in Vancouver for the MAS conference in 2008 and had a few meetings with him. Then I flew to Toronto to see the Tarragon production of A Beautiful View and talk with him further about not only giving me the rights to the play, but having him directing it. I was overjoyed when he said yes…

2. What do you think is the play’s most important message?

Colleen: No need to put a name or label on a beautiful relationship – it just “is”.

: To not label relationships and people, to face your fears.

3. In what ways do you find you identify with your character most?

Colleen: She is dry, sardonic – I like that sense of humour.

Diane: She’s complex, human, flawed…Daniel has a real affinity for writing genuine roles for women. Not stereotypes. They’re real. He grew up with and was raised by women, and I think that’s maybe partly why.

4. In what ways is your character most different from you?

Colleen: She wears fleece, I don’t.

Diane: She’s dead…

5. Did you have any difficulties with the sexual aspect of the play? How was it in rehearsals?

Colleen: Not difficult at all – it’s not difficult to imagine being attracted to Diane Brown – look at her! Rehearsals were fun, we had a lot of giggles.

Diane: No difficulties. It’s about love. Rehearsals were great.

6. What keeps you motivated and inspired to do what you do?

Diane: Artistic communion with other people, the audience and everyone in the room. That’s what live theatre is to me. It’s essential that it be in my life; a secular form of spirituality. It’s also fun..

Colleen: I feel very lucky that I get to work with such great people.  It is not difficult to feel “motivated” when you are able to do what you love for a living. Inspiration comes from many different places…my particular life experiences have allowed me to evolve as an actor and as I get older, my life experience becomes richer and I feel the work I get to do benefits from that. 

Colleen Wheeler & Diane Brown perform in A Beautiful View

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